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The mayor of a small town in central Ontario’s cottage country says water levels in two nearby lakes have now exceeded those last seen during devastating flooding in 2013, and the weather forecast is “not promising.”

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says a pair of lakes north of the community – which has been dealing with flooding in recent days – don’t have the capacity to contain any more water and Environment Canada warns of another significant rainfall in the area on Friday.

Smith told a news conference Thursday morning that Fairy Lake and Mary Lake, which drain into the river that runs through Bracebridge, are “stressed” already – and more rain could be a significant “jolt” to the system.

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However, he noted that much of the existing snowpack has already thawed, making further meltwater less of a concern.

Bracebridge and the nearby Township of Minden Hills have declared emergencies due to flooding, while dozens of other areas are under flood watches or warnings.

Officials in eastern Ontario are also warning that water levels on the Ottawa River could reach levels last seen during the floods of 2017.

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